Director of Horticulture

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Compensation: $70,000 - $90,000

The Director of Horticulture is responsible for ensuring that CMBG gardens, grounds, and trails are beautifully planted, presented, and maintained. They should be skilled in planning garden displays for four-season interest with deep knowledge of native plants and cultivars. Responsible for overall health and appearance of the gardens and plants, including those in the Conservatory, once built. They will create a motivating and inspiring team culture in the Horticulture Department. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is in the middle of a major capital campaign that will enable us to execute several elements of our Master Plan in which the Director of Horticulture will play a central role


Horticulture Design, Maintenance, and Collections

  • • Provides the aesthetic vision and inspiration for horticultural displays.
  • • With CEO, sets strategic priorities and annual goals for horticulture team. Implements elements of the Strategic Plan related to horticulture, with an emphasis on the accessibility and educational/interpretive value of the living plant collections to the Gardens’ various visitors.
  • • Establishes and maintains high horticultural standards and practices. Manages and supports overall plant health and soil nutrition strategies for all gardens, including sustainable gardening practices and integrated pest management.
  • • Ensures implementation of CMBG Garden Design Principles and Maintenance Guidelines.
  • • Ensures development and implementation of horticultural plans for seasonal displays.
  • • Plans and oversees CMBG’s plant production and propagation efforts and nurseries.
  • • Supervises installation, maintenance, renovation, and repair of horticultural displays/gardens. Manages work output and relationships with associated outsourced contractors.
  • • Accountable for development and management of the horticulture budget, budget monitoring, strategic planning, and horticulture capital projects. Ensures appropriate plant and materials orders for gardens and Conservatory use. Devises and implements proper inventory control measures.
  • • Oversees preventive maintenance for structures, irrigation systems, equipment, and vehicles in Horticulture Department in coordination with Facilities Director.
  • • Ensures compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, including OSHA.


  • • Builds a strong team and creates a positive working environment and culture in the Horticulture Department. Develops, maintains, and promotes positive and professional relationships with internal staff, volunteers, members, vendors, contractors, media, and the general public.
  • • Hires, trains, supervises, coaches, and assesses horticultural staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • • Ensures effective training and safe working programs are in place for horticultural staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • • Ensures management of planting and maintenance schedules and daily activities of the horticultural staff, volunteers, and seasonal interns.

Collaborative, Cross-Functional, and External Work

  • • Ensures we have an effective horticultural volunteer program.
  • • Collaborates with the Education Department to identify opportunities for programming and interpretation for the gardens and living collections that help to inspire action on climate change through sustainable gardening practices and use of native plants. Identifies instructors from the Horticulture team for educational programs. May teach classes for education program.
  • • Collaborates with Plant Science and Collections Department to ensure living plant collection records are accurate and current and that the collection aligns with and advances scientific/conservation strategies and priorities. Collaborates with partners locally and nationally to further CMBG’s horticulture and collections priorities. Represents CMBG with supporters, including garden clubs, plant associations, city and county agencies, and professional organizations.
  • • Gives tours and presentations and provides insight, content, and editorial support for various publications, interpretative materials, and marketing as needed.
  • Assists with the production and management of special events including new exhibits, experiences, and Gardens Aglow.


Success Factors

  • • Proactive, hands-on professional with a collaborative style and a strong service mentality. Strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. Adept at negotiation, mentoring, influencing, and developing relationships at all levels of the organization.
  • • Positive, innovative, and inspiring leader who can delegate, manage, and prioritize responsibilities with clarity and confidence.
  • • Excellent operational leader who can build a strong, high-functioning team that has clear goals, roles, and processes.
  • • Enthusiastic advocate internally and externally for making the Gardens beautiful and engaging for a diverse audience.


  • • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in horticulture or plant science required.
  • • A minimum of seven years of experience in the field of horticulture, garden management, or landscape management, public garden experience strongly preferred.
  • • Demonstrated success leading and motivating a diverse team to achieve goals. Ability to set clear goals and expectations for a team and develop repeatable systems and processes to efficiently manage work. A minimum of five years of management experience.
  • • Demonstrated knowledge of horticultural best practices, sustainable landscape and conservatory practices, hardy plant care appropriate to the region, and greenhouse plant production techniques.
  • • Demonstrated ability with the design and installation of inspiring horticultural displays.
  • • Excellent cultivated and native plant knowledge with demonstrated experience in their selection and use with an emphasis on taxa suitable for Maine. Knowledge of basic plant culture and disease/insect pest diagnostics under local conditions required.
  • • Experience with garden construction management and capital project implementation; able to understand construction drawings and specifications and to oversee garden creation and restoration.
  • • Thorough knowledge of pesticide regulations.
  • • Demonstrated success in budgeting, setting and evaluating financial goals, and strategic planning, implementation, and assessment.
  • • Strong written and oral communication skills with a variety of audiences; listens for clarification when necessary and responds informatively.
  • • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail and accuracy, ability to prioritize and juggle multiple projects.
  • • Integrity and highest standards of ethics and professionalism.
  • • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, experience with BG-Base or other plant collections database.
  • • Desired certifications: current Commercial Pesticide Applicator License, valid driver’s license
  • Commitment to working across the organization to support the integration of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) principles into CMBG’s internal operations and its relationships with visitors and guests.

Additional Information

​Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is one of the nation’s newest, loveliest, and most dynamic public gardens. Our mission is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education and research. Benefits include working with dedicated professionals in a beautiful environment; a choice of health insurance plans generously subsidized; dental insurance; vision insurance, a 401K match; and membership in the Gardens which provides discounts on educational offerings, gift shop and food merchandise, as well as reciprocal admission to 300 public gardens in the U.S.

See the complete job description on our website, .To apply, email a resume and letter of interest to Review of applications will begin September 30.

Contact Information

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Phone: 2076338006
Website: Apply Online